Day 3 Rosthwaite to Patterdale

“It Would Have Been Rude Not To”!

As with yesterday’s tale, I’ll tell the story of today’s odd title later! Here are the Day 03 stats:

Left Rosthwaite: 09:30 Arrived Patterdale: 17:45
Distance (kms): 27.90 Distance (mls): 17.43
Moving Time: 7:19 Minimum Altitude (m): 91
Stopped Time: 0:56 Maximum Altitude (m): 610.1
Moving Average (kph): 3.8 Total Ascent (m): 1,284.3
Overall Average (kph): 3.3 Total Descent (m): 1,216.5

Day 3 GPX file: c2c03 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – includes the route I should have taken as well as the actual route! They’re not actually much different.

Up (and Up Again!)

The breakfast at Greenbank B&B was, to say the least, rather mediocre – crap sausages and no baked beans and, after all, what’s a “full English” without baked beans? To be honest, it’s the little things like that and light bulbs not working, the central heating coming on in our room on a warm summer’s morning, plus the attitude of the Madame that lets the place down; and for £40 each per night The Boss and I (especially The Boss!) expected better.

My beloved drove me back to Rosthwaite for the start of today’s walk to Patterdale. Martin Wainwright advises doing the leg in one go, although most of the people I’d met were stopping overnight at Grasmere and continuing the Patterdale the day after, Cockney Sparrows included. They were going to have a day off at Grasmere but were going to climb Helvellyn, no doubt over Striding Edge carrying all their camping equipment with them! I knew that this was going to be a tough day, probably the hardest of the whole C2C, with a big climb up to Lining Crag and Grasmere Common, followed by the descent to Grasmere and then another ascent to Hause Rigs and Grisedale Tarn before scrambling down again to Patterdale. The Boss was to meet me at the tea rooms in Patterdale for a cuppa and had planned to try to get us booked on a romantic dinner cruise on Ullswater in the evening. With the prospect of such a day I was eager to get going!

The weather was great this morning – warm and sunny and for the first time (cover your eyes ladies!) I bared my lilywhite little sticks, otherwise known as legs – very efficient sheep scarers! Yes, at last it was tee shirt and shorts weather, although my (large) rucksack was sufficiently equipped for me to survive a snowstorm, if necessary!

I set off from Rosthwaite and joined the army of walkers brought out by the fine weather. Most were just on day walks but amongst them were a few gritty, determined individuals, like me, ready to tackle the hardest that the C2C could throw at us! The path up alongside Stonethwaite Beck was a bit rocky, stony, uneven and a bit of a problem for my still swollen ankle but the day was bright and, as I climbed, the views back to Rosthwaite became more and more stunning. 

Halfway up to Lining Crag I passed a group of partial C2Cers sat having a break and beside them on a rock was a plaque to a Gordon Hallworth, who died beneath the shelter of the rock on 8th January 1939. There must be a hell of a tale surrounding this but all I’ve managed to find out so far is reference to, and another picture of, a second plaque on a bridge over Greenup Gill in Borrowdale which says a bit more than the one I’d seen myself.

Having passed this point I continued to ascend and caught up with “Giant Haystacks” who I’d briefly met at Black Sail Hostel the day before. The only other C2Cers I met on this stretch were the good old Cockney Sparrows at the top of the hill and another couple, a father and son, the former of which was doing the whole route. We stopped and chatted for a while and then continued over increasingly boggy ground where by good old Brashers, cracked and battered as they are, kept my feet nice and dry. When I stopped for a drink the aforementioned Giant Haystacks caught me up and asked me if the map case he was holding in his hand was mine; it was! He’d found it a mile or two back down the track where I dropped it at a drink stop. Then he asked me if I’d also lost one of those foam pads you use for sitting on at lunch breaks (actually mine’s a 99p garden kneeling mat from Morrisons!) and, of course, I told him that I had – just by the Mountain Rescue collection box at Honister yesterday when I’d stopped for lunch. He then produced it from his rucksack and it and I were reunited! From thenceforth he was no longer Giant Haystacks but my Guardian Angel!

Guardian Angel and I walked together for a bit and he turned out to be a retired local government officer from Chichester (West Sussex, I think). He was planning to take a high level route to Grasmere so, after a couple of miles, I bade him “good luck” and thanked him again – nice guy. Not long afterwards, my mobile phone rang (yes, right up on the tops of the fells, in the middle of nowhere). It was The Boss to tell me that she’d managed to get us booked on the Ullswater dinner cruise and that I’d better finish today’s walk in time. No probs, I thought.

A couple of years ago I’d done (or rather, tried to do) this walk before, had taken a wrong turning, probably at Greenup Edge, and ended up at Thirlmere instead of Grasmere, then had to walk all the way down the A591 to meet The Boss for lunch at the Travellers’ Rest just outside Grasmere. This time I had my trusty Garmin GPS with today’s map well and truly loaded so there was no way I was going to go off course. However…. No, I didn’t go wrong I’d just plotted one of the higher level instead of easier routes. But it was okay and after what seemed to be a long, long walk over some rather tricky ground, I reached Helm Crag with its wonderful views of Grasmere and beyond. In lovely weather such as today it was splendid to sit there for a while and take in the views. Down below me, just by the side of the A591 I could see the aforementioned Travellers’ Rest. Mmmmm….

The path down towards Grasmere was steep, much more so than the climb up had been and it took quite a while to reach the outskirts of the village. From there I bypassed Grasmere itself as, unlike most of the other C2Cers I’d met, I was continuing to Patterdale today. However, as I walked towards the A591, which has to be crossed, I notice a small side footpath just over Low Mill Bridge, which headed straight for The Travellers’ Rest. Well, I needed to use a toilet, needed to fill my water bottles, it being a warm and thirsty day. So the sensible decision was to head for the Travellers’ Rest (blue is the C2C, red was my route!). Well, I couldn’t just march in there, use their toilets, fill my water bottles and leave. It would have been very, very rude and since I’m not that kind of boy I just had to force myself to drink a pint of the wonderful Jennings Bitter served by a pleasant young woman from Hermanus in South Africa, where you can view whales, as The Boss and I had done when we visited there last November.

The climb from the A591 up to Hause Riggs and towards Grisedale Tarn is very steep, very long and, for me at least, the hardest of the day. I passed Grisedale Tarn and, as I did so, the weather began to change with dark clouds forming and spots of rain splattering on my hat. Nevertheless and especially as there were no other people around, Grisedale Tarn looked very “fetching” in the grey light. The path continues through Grisedale Forest which boasts not one single tree. To my left were Dollywagon Pike, High Crag, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn, all of which I was to eschew today. That route was definitely NOT for me. So I continued slowly and steadily downwards towards Patterdale as it began to really rain, forcing me to don the old waterproofs for the first time in the day.

Once I reached Patterdale I realised that I’d got things very slightly askew, confusing it for Glenridding, which is where the very nice tea rooms are and where I was due to meet Noelene. So, having also gone a little off course in the last mile or so of the walk, I emerged from the back of The Patterdale Hotel, onto the A592, couldn’t contact The Boss on her mobile, so started walking along the road to Glenridding. Just before the village I saw the familiar and welcome sight of the old Honda Accord into which The Boss dragged me and whisked me away to the over grandly named Royal Hotel, some way up Ullswater at Dockray, our accommodation for the night. Once there I had to hurriedly clean my boots, try to find somewhere for them to dry (there was nowhere), quickly shower and dress up smartly to dash off to the landing stage at the Pooley Bridge end of Ullswater for our dinner cruise. Well, The Boss broke just about every speed limit and rule in the Highway Code to get us there just before the boat sailed (in the pouring rain) but we made it.

What can I say about what we’d thought was to be a romantic dinner cruise on Ullswater. Well, for a start, it was pissing down with rain, then the boat was full so we had to share a table, then, then, then…. But, in fact, despite the unimaginative buffet meal, there was at least good bottled beer (Ullswater Steamship Co. Bitter from a local microbrewery) and we had a good old natter with some very friendly, normal, i.e. NOT walkers, local people before returning to the hotel, still in pouring rain, for an early(ish) night and good

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
The Royal Hotel
CA11 0JY
017684 82356
Buffet dinner
on the Ullswater Steamship Co.'s dinner cruise

(okay ~6/10)

Ullswater Steamship Co. Bitter
(pretty good for bottled beer)

Some Day 03 Photos